Which? – Product-testing and Campaigning Consumer Orginzation

Mが「Which?」の最初の1ヶ月1ポンドのお試しキャンペーンに申し込み、先日、その雑誌が届いた。Which?は、イギリスを拠点とする最大の消費者団体NPOで、消費者の保護と、商品テストや独自の商品レビューによって消費者に正しい商品知識を与える事、また消費者の権利の啓蒙を目的としている。ウェブサイトと雑誌を主宰し、100万人の会員数を誇る。広告や無料の商品を受け取らない事で独立性を維持、商品テストに使われる商品は全て定価で購入されている。活動資金はすべて会員サービス契約料によってまかなわれ、株主を持たない。Which?の「Best Buy」のお墨付きは広く認知されており、その守備範囲は、電化製品、車、コンピュータから、健康保険や金融商品、またスーパーマーケットにまで多岐に渡り、Which?に認められる事即ち、お買い得で信頼に足りる商品という証明になる。また、消費者の法的権利に関するアドバイスや消費者訴訟の法令などもリポートしている。ちゃんとした会社はいいけれど、二流の会社にとっては鬱陶しい存在かも。

今回の特集「The Best and Worst Shops」では、100の主な店を対象に、1万4千人の客による投票で値段、品質、サービス、お店での体験を採点、トータルで最高・最低ランクのお店をリストアップしている。Mは、ワールドカップ観戦のための新しいテレビを、Which?ランキングでトップだったお店で買った。Which?はまた、商品やサービスのレビューだけでなく、お金の節約術も色々指南してくれる。例えば列車料金は、「split ticketing」と呼ばれる方法で、乗車区間をいくつかに分けて切符を買う方が、トータルの区間を買うより割安の場合があるという(電車が切符に記載された駅に停まる場合)。また無料で使える地方自治体や学校のテニスコートを検索できるウェブサイト(www.tennisforfree.com)の紹介も。買い物やお金に関する無料電話相談もできる。ただ、1ヶ月間の£1のキャンペーンの後は、月額£9.75に。便利なサービスだけれど、毎月払うとなるととちょっと高いなあ。

M applied £1 for first month trial campaign of Which?, and received the latest magazine recently. Which? is a product-testing and campaigning charity based in UK with a magazine and website, and is the largest consumer organization in the UK with over 1 million subscribers. It engages in advocacy campaigns on various consumer protection issues and aims to promote informed consumer choice in the purchase of goods and services by testing products, and raising awareness of consumer rights. Tests are carried out on consumer items like electrical goods, cars, and computers, as well as health and financial services, and supermarkets, highlighting issues such as reliability and value-for-money. Which? claims that it maintains its independence by not accepting advertising or freebies, and everything bought for testing is paid for at full price. Which? is funded entirely by its subscribers and has no shareholders. Also Which? gives advice on consumers’ legal rights and reports on legal cases, as well as products reviews. It is a honor for a company or store to be awarded the Which? ‘Best Buy’, which is highly respected by industry and consumers, for their products and serivce. It is good for a decent company or store which makes a great effort to offer a good quality products or service for their customers, but it would be a great pain in the neck for a rogue trader.

This month’s issue includes “The Best and Worst Shops”, based on the score calculated votes by 14,000 shoppers on price, product quality, service, and store experience at 100 high street shops. M purchased a new TV for watching the World Cup football from Which?‘s highest rank retailer, after he got the magazine. Not only a reviews for products and services, but also some articles are helpful for its money saving tactics. For example, ‘split ticketing’, buying any combination of tickets for a journey (as long as the train stops at the stations named on the tickets), could be cheaper than buying a ticket for an entire journey. Another article talks about an website (www.tennisforfree.com) that you can search a tennis court owned by local authorities and schools that can be used for free near you across UK. You can also get free money and shopping advice over the phone. Quite useful service, but after £1 trial month, monthly subscription will cost £9.75 – sounds a bit too expensive to pay every month…

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